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80s Week: Colin’s Lists

I urge anyone to do whatever kinds lists they feel like doing, these are just the ones that I felt capable of doing. As far as ’80s TV, really the only show I’ve seen a whole lot of is “Cheers”, so I decided to go with my favorite music videos. So without further ado, here are the lists:
Top 10 Albums of the 1980s

Honorable Mentions: The dB’s – Stands For Decibals (1981), Husker Du – New Day Rising (1985), Paul Simon – Graceland (1986), The Pixies – Doolittle (1989), The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses (1989), and a lot more.
10. R.E.M. – Murmur (1983)
It definitely wasn’t punk, and it wasn’t really new wave either, so what exactly was Murmur? Well most people seem to think it was the first definitive album to be labeled as “alternative rock”, and for that reason I’d say this debut still ranks as R.E.M.’s definitive album. Well, that and the fact that the songs are really good.
9. Minutemen – Double Nickels on the Dime (1984)
A punk/hardcore/funk/jam trio breezes through over forty songs over the course of two discs. I can’t say I’ve heard anything quite like Double Nickels On The Dime, an album I just got into this summer, but one I’ll certainly be coming back to.
8. Run-D.M.C. – Raising Hell (1986)
This is the kind of album hip-hop needed in order for it to finally break through to the mainstream. The album even starts with Run-D.M.C. riffing on a nursery rhyme and somehow managing to show you from the get-go that they aren’t messing around, this shit is for real.
7. Elvis Costello and The Attractions – Imperial Bedroom (1982)
After an incredible run of albums that started with 1977’s My Aim Is True, Costello topped it off with his most insular and adventurous album yet with Imperial Bedroom. Costello’s song-craft is as strong as ever, but what makes the album is his and The Attractions willingness to pull the songs in all these different directions.
6. Talking Heads – Remain in Light (1980)
Speaking of bands taking their music in different directions, here’s Remain In Light. Every song is so dense and genre-bending, it’s almost as if every song has about 3 different songs stacked on top of each other. That definitely doesn’t sound like it should work, but the Heads somehow pulled it off with the help of producer Brian Eno.
5. Michael Jackson – Thriller (1982)
I was almost considering keeping this album off the list, but then I listened to about the first 10 seconds “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” and realized I was just kidding myself. This album is the ’80s, and no top albums list would be complete without it.
4. Prince – Purple Rain (1984)
M. J. was certainly the biggest superstar of the ’80s, but Prince wasn’t too far behind. Purple Rain was a big reason why, as it displays every thing that made him great. He could rock his ass off (“Let’s Go Crazy”), spill his heart (“The Beautiful Ones”), shock you with his frank sexuality (“Darling Nikki”) or even turn avant-garde pop into a number 1 hit (“When Doves Cry”).
3. Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique (1989)
Sure License To Ill was the biggest hip-hop album of the eighties, but this album is the reason why I love the Beastie Boys. Their extensive use of obscure and not-so-obscure samples are a big part of the album’s appeal, as well the Beasties’ increasingly irreverent rhymes that see them name-checking the likes of Fred Flintstone, Jack Kerouac, and Saduharu Oh.
2. U2 – The Joshua Tree (1987)
I’m pretty sure this was the first ’80s album I ever listened to, back when I was convinced the entire decade was basically filled with nothing but shitty music. Now I know that’s not true at all, but this still stands as an impressive achievement, proving that it was still possible for a rock band to seem larger than life without looking completely ridiculous. Rock anthems simply don’t come much grander than the ones found here.
1. The Replacements – Tim (1985)
I’m not really even sure what to say about Tim other than that I love this album. Ever since the first time I heard it, there’s just been something about the scruffiness, the grandiosity, the vulnerability, and just the overall joy that can be found in rock n’ roll that this album embodies. I’ll even admit that this isn’t a perfect album, but it really doesn’t matter, considering that most of the songs on Tim have affected me in ways that few have.
Top 10 Music Videos of the 1980s

You kids out there may of heard of this thing called the music video, they were pretty big in the eighties. Here are a few of my personal favorites.
Some videos are so dumb that they’re awesome. Case in point.
As if Rakim wasn’t already badass enough.
The Pixies were so cool that they didn’t need to lip-sync. Not that they look very cool in this video.
There isn’t a whole lot in this video that makes sense to me, and yet it amuses me greatly. Especially when that asian guy shouts “Hey Ladies!”.
Is that one mannequin supposed to be masturbating in bed?
Everbody loves N64 graphics.
Unlike “Money For Nothing”, this one actually is still pretty impressive by today’s standards. Just about as playful and inventive of a music video as you could ask for.
I can’t tell if I actually like this song, or if the video is so good that it tricks me into liking it. Either way, it’s got so many things going on in it that you can’t help but be entertained.
I guess if you put David Byrne in front of a green screen, he’ll come up with some pretty wacky antics. I don’t know why this video amuses me so much, it just does.
Well duh.
Top 5 Video Games of the 1980s

My experience with ’80s video games is not very extensive, despite the fact that I’ve owned an NES. So I just decided to go with a top 5.
5. BurgerTime (1982)
I’m glad Sean exposed me to this game, even though it automatically makes me hungry.
4. The Legend of Zelda (1986)
I’ve never gotten that far in this game, but it’s definitely one of the more influential games to come out for the NES. Like I know, why the hell am I writing about video games?
3. Pac-Man (1980)
Some day I wish to own my very own Pac-man machine. It’s so intense!
2. Super Mario Bros. (1985)
I’ve played this game so many times and in so many variations, yet something about it never gets old. If only I could say I’ve beaten it on NES instead of using a save file on Super Mario All-Stars.
1. Tetris (1989)
Another game that I’ve spent hours upon hours playing. In my eyes, the sheer simplicity of Tetris is something that is unequaled and probably won’t ever truly be improved upon, despite all the spin-offs and variations that have come out over the years.
Top 10 Movies of the 1980s

It seems like the ’80s tends to get a bad rap as far as movies, due to it being the era of big-budget spectacles in wake of the more edgy, personal Hollywood films of the ’70s. But I think much like the music of the ’80s, the cinematic landscape of the decade is somewhat underrated as a whole.
Honorable Mentions: The Shining (1980), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Stranger Than Paradise (1984), Ran (1985), Do the Right Thing (1989)
10. The Right Stuff (1983)
Just a very entertaining, insightful, and altogether inspiring movie about the possibilities of American ingenuity. Space movies don’t get much better than this.
9. Brazil (1985)
As far as I’m concerned, this is a grand achievement from the always inventive mind of Terry Gilliam. There’s just no end to the whimsy and visual inventiveness on display here.
8. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
As far as comedies go, this one has got to have some of the best comedic timing I’ve ever seen, much to the credit of it’s hilarious cast. Kevin Kline was so good they gave him the Oscar. When do you think they’ll ever give another person an Oscar for a straight-up comedy like this? I would say never.
7. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
It’s “intended cut” clocks in at nearly 4 hours and it’s worth every minute. Sergio Leone shows that he truly was much more than just a visual stylist, with this intricate tale of Prohibition-era gangsters that spans the course of 50 years.
6. Airplane! (1980)
I know Kevin would be upset if I didn’t give props to this most zany of comedies. I can see how he’s ended up watching this movie over 100 times, well sort of. The gags are so plentiful and so ingenious, that it’s easy to find something you haven’t noticed before each time you watch it.
5. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Of course we’re all big Star Wars fans here at Da Morgue, so much so that every moment of the original trilogy is basically implanted in our brains. So I don’t know what to say about Empire except “best sequel ever?”. Maybe.
4. Blade Runner (1982)
I’m surprised to see how much sci-fi has ended up on this list, since I’ve never really considered myself a sci-fi guy. But really the genre doesn’t get any more stylish, confounding, or all-together mesmerizing than Blade Runner. I’m also amazed that there was a time when Ridley Scott was capable of creating something so incredibly unique.
3. Blue Velvet (1986)
David Lynch is one strange little man, and I kinda love him for it. Every creepy depiction of small town America owes something to Blue Velvet, and you gotta love Dennis Hopper screaming stuff like “Bullshit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!”.
2. Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
Woody Allen turned out a lot of great movies throughout the ’80s, but he managed to end the decade with what might very well be my favorite film of his. Sure it’s bleak, and asks a lot of tough questions, but it’s got all of the things that I love about Woody, and then some.
1. Raging Bull (1980)
Really not the most inspired or original choice, but can you really blame me? Raging Bull is about as masterful as American filmmaking gets, and really no other film of the ’80s even comes close to this masterpiece in my opinion.
And there you go, another decade bites the dust.

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